Visitors Guide to the
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

One Brookings Drive, Washington University
St. Louis, MO

Accessible Parking Picnic Facilities Accessible Art Exhibits Accessible Gift Shop Accessible Restrooms MetroLink Station Nearby

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country and the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River. Established in 1881 as the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts, a department of Washington University, the Museum was initially located in a neo-Renaissance building in downtown St. Louis under the direction of artist Halsey C. Ives. Its collection was formed in the large part by acquiring significant works by artists of the time.

In 1906, the collection was moved to the Palace of Fine Arts in Forest Park, a building designed by architect Cass Gilbert for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. In 1909, the public St. Louis Art Museum was formed and detached from the private Washington University. The University collection, however, remained on loan there for the next several decades. In 1941 German exile H.W. Janson joined the faculty of Washington University's Department of Art History and Archaeology and initiated an expansive program to revitalize the University's Museum. Over 600 objects were deaccessioned and the proceeds were used to acquire approximately 40 works of modern art, including examples of Cubism, Expressionism, and Surrealism in order to build the "finest collection of contemporary art assembled on any American campus."

Now one of the finest university collections in the United States, the Museum contains strong holdings of 19th, 20th, and 21st century European and American paintings, sculptures, prints, installations, and photographs. In 2004, the Museum was renamed the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and linked to Washington University's newly formed Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. The museum opened in its new building, designed by Pritker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki in 2006.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum building features spacious galleries that accommodate large-scale and new media exhibitions, an intimate setting to view works from the Museum's permanent collection, and a 5,000-square foot outdoor sculpture garden. In addition to a thematic installation of works from the Museum's outstanding permanent collection, the Kemper Art Museum features both temporary and major loan exhibitions throughout the year, presenting examples of significant international modern and contemporary art and design.

Visiting the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
     Visiting Hours:
          Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday: 11 am - 6 pm
          Friday: 11 am - 8 pm
          Saturday & Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm
          Closed Tuesdays and University holidays
There is no charge to visit the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
  Through January 8, 2018
How we understand and experience trauma and psychological repair reveals essential beliefs about who we are and how we see the world. Kader Attia’s Reason’s Oxymorons (2015) examines the act of repair as it is envisioned in both Western and non-Western cultures. The installation comprises eighteen video interviews, conducted by the artist and presented on television monitors installed within a modular cubicle environment.

For more information visit the exhibit's webpage
  Through January 8, 2018
The rise of printmaking in Europe in the early fifteenth century facilitated major transformations in visual culture. Serialized images began to circulate on an unprecedented scale, extending beyond the confines of palaces or churches to reach new audiences of artists, collectors, and connoisseurs. Renaissance and Baroque Prints: Investigating the Collection surveys the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s substantial holdings of prints from the late fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. Highlights include work by major innovators of the medium of printmaking such as Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) as well as Daniel Hopfer (c. 1470–1536), Marcantonio Raimondi (c. 1480–c. 1530), and Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778).

For more information visit the exhibit's webpage
  Through January 8, 2018
What is, and what isn’t, feminist art? Reframing Feminism: Visualizing Women, Gender & Sexuality reflects on the relationships among art, activism, and feminist movements through a broad selection of artworks from the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s permanent collection. Works by such artists as Jeanne Dunning, Valie Export, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol, among others, require viewers to reconsider what constitutes a feminist art practice, who makes feminist art, and what role art plays for and within feminist movements. The exhibition poses questions about the position of gendered bodies in public space, as well as the complicated relationships between gender, race, and sexuality and consumer culture and commodification.

For more information visit the exhibit's webpage

Location: The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is located on the eastern edge of the campus of Washington University near the intersection of Skinker Blvd. and Lindell Blvd directly west of Forest Park. Finding parking for the museum can be a chore due to a construction project.

GPS Coordinates
N  38  38.838
W 90  18.183

Learn more about the St. Louis area.

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum - Official site of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum organization with answers to all the questions you may have.
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